That's right...! We are finally turning ONE! (Can you actually believe it?!) For some it may not be a huge step, but for Cristal and myself, this has been such a journey we have to take the time during this week of our "Moving On, & Moving Forward" series to reflect and appreciate our growth.
" We celebrate one year at Herstory I'm beyond grateful for what God has done so far. I thank my sister Devin Marie for walking this walk with me and intrusting God on this move we call Write2Herstory I'm Extremely grateful to everyone that has supported us and follow this journey. Although we share our healing and advice weekly, I would be lying if I said it came easy. It is at times a struggle and a humbling process, but we'll worth the journey. I pray that our days ahead touch someone soul(s) I always say if we make a difference in one person's life then we are walking in our destiny,
Looking foward to events and gatherings that we'll be planning to hear other powerful testimonies as we continue to share our story."
Yessss sis, What a journey it has been...there are days and weeks I've prayed to God asking "are we doing this right...? Should we keep going?" And I'm always reminded of a time I said "YES" to God's call before this even formed. I could not be as brave as I am without Jesus being the foundation of my faith, and my continuous courage.
I am also incredibly grateful that God aligned Cristal on my path to have an accountability partner and make this a consistent thing.
My biggest goal right now with this blog is to deliver content with substance. There is no point in my honest opinion to put forth work and material that is not going to help someone.
That's why we started this in the first place, and to provide another resource for those who have survived sexual abuse before.
Moving on and forward...( see what I did there) lol
I would like to connect with more survivors face to face. I can't wait to start planning forums that usher in more healing and safe spaces for growth and shared testimony. (These spaces are currently in the works as we speak!!) What is also in the works is providing more video content for our readers; as a result, our supporters can reach us not only by email but through different means of social media and small groups.
There are so many of us out there then we may think... I pray God connects me with you or perhaps someone you may know...so if it is on your heart share this page and blog and encourage yourself/someone out there that it IS possible to heal, to grow and to love!
Stick with us, this is just the beginning 💗
love and solidarity,
Cristal and Devin (aka Herstory mamas) ☺️😉
Hello readers, supporters, Queens and Kings!!
This week we are continuing on our series of "Moving On , & Moving Forward" with some thoughts from our amazing cofounder Cristal Lowe! Her experience as a survivor of sexual assault is one that inspire me and motivates me to continue to pursue my own healing. This week is no exception to the example she has taught me through the years, that we hope blesses somebody out there too!
Here is Cristal's story:
I knew in order to heal I had to move forward...but the thought was easier than done. Years after being raped, fear made a home on the inside of me.
I thought, even if I chose to move on with my life, how could I acomplish such movement when I see my rapist everywhere from fashion events, friend's parties, to just driving down the street? How could I move forward when fear lived in me every day I stepped out of my house? How could I move forward when my pain had never been told?
As mentioned on a serious before my healing started when I first shared my testimony at church. Pastor Mark Jackson suggested I choose a scripture pertaining to my situation, which lead me to find:
I prayed everyday that God would allow the fear to vanish away, but still I thought "this is impossible I have built fear for years and years...how was it possible for me to break free?" But even if my faith was shaky at that time I continued to press in I thought, "what if this praying stuff is real? What if all I have to do is pray so hard to the point that I no longer fear, I mean I was still growing in Christ. Long story short, a couple months after pressing and holding onto the scripture Psalm 6:10 I decided to take everything back; I decided to go back to fashion week in Las Vegas.
Every six months people came all over the world to enjoy fashion week, yet it had become my biggest fear due to my sexual assault a few years prior. Still, I decided to go back. I went back in part to enjoy fashion week once again, and fulfill my dreams as an up in coming designer, but most importantly, to face my fears. I remember praying so hard that I believe God said "This is it; no more fear my daughter , I have created you to be great and not be ashamed or scared, for I am your God who protects you and no one can ever harm you!"
The moment came when I told my husband let's sit for a second... I heard his voice and as I turn to my left their he was standing on a circle I began to pray in my mind and repeating the scripture as we began to walk into the event we had to pass by him, with all in me I wanted to pass by him and keep my eyes down to the grown, but as I prayed, fear left my soul-- I walked right past him and look straight into his eyes, and as I prayed I continued to repeat Psalm 6:10. He looked away down to avoid making eye contact with me with shame. (my gosh, I couldn't believe what just happened... I had defeated my rapist for the first time in about 4 years I had let go of fear let go of shame, let go of embarrassment, let go of what the enemy meant to destroy my destiny for the first time in a long time I felt like my self again.
Moving foward is not easy and healing comes in different phases, but I promise it's coming and one day you will to feel like your self again, to the point you can look ANY situation straight on, without fear, or torment of what's guilted you in the past. --Cristal Lowe
With love, growth, & healing,
In the process of healing Cristal and I both can attest to moments of falling short in the moving forward department...
As much as I wanted to let go of the situation, I couldn't let go of the pain.
I opened up a while ago in the process of me pressing charges against the man who raped me. When my case was dropped, I had nothing but the memory to hold onto to validate the experience that changed a lot of who I am today.
I remember the day I drove to the court house to pick up the remains of my personal items that were taken as evidence from the rape kit.
Clasped tightly in my hand was a big brown paper bag. In it, was a white vneck, grey jeans, brown boots, my bra, underwear, and a pair of socks. Upon opening the bag alone in bedroom I remember how mad I was thinking..."I remember JUST buying those vintage boots too!" I was livid. Not just because of the memory that was now attached to these items I held, but because like those newly bought boots, my idea of college being a fresh start for me was tarnished. The warmth that came over my body ushered in a wave of flashbacks from the evening I wanted to so desperately erase. The items laid on my bedroom floor, with thoughts of "what now...?" Lingering in my mind.
I hastenly threw the boots and clothes bag in the bag and stuffed it in the darkest corner of my closet.
And there, in that same closet, I too buried every bit of my pain, lingering tear, and muffled scream and cry . That closet became the cementary for every displaced emotion, and countless mental lapses I projected on the people I loved.
But not even my closet could contain nor heal these broken wounds. As much as I wanted freedom, I was content in that closet. It was dark, it did not question my anger, or my cries...it acted much like my personal wailing wall...and I hand no intentions of cleaning, or discarding it.
Until...one evening. I had just got done meeting with Cristal and her husband at the movies and came back home with a feeling of anxiety. My room was no longer a safe place. I prayed on the phone with Cristal not too long after to help ease the PTSD I was experiencing. The Holy Spirit spoke to her, about something in my room needing to be thrown out. (At the time I never told anyone I had that brown bag in my closet, no one knew I went to the court house that day either). It was only God who knew and now Cristal who urged me In the spirit to "let it go".
Most would think, "well yea, that's a no brainer...why keep anything that would remind you of such a painful past?"
many ask the same question to those who return to abusive relationships, or ask why some are STILL hung up over their ex.
I couldn't anwser that question then...but now I can say that sometimes holding onto what's familiar is more soothing then the satisfaction of move on.
Sometimes letting go is harder than the experience itself.
Sometimes we attach WHO we are with WHAT we've been through.
I allowed my identity to be diminished to that of a paper bag, my identity stitched in worn clothes and a pair of boots, diminished to the hands that forced them off of my body, to the mattress my limp body laid on, to the pain buried in the four white walls that locked me inside his bedroom, my identity lied in bitterness and unanswered questions of commonly shared sentiments of "why did this have to happen to me?"
And I don't know "why" but I do know that letting go of that bag, was the first step of accepting my truest identity. One, that was no longer soothed by my own tears but affirmed in the LOVE of CHRIST. Letting go may be harder than the experience itself.. letting go can be a now thing or a drawn out spectacle, letting go didn't mean what happened to me no longer mattered; but that I MATTERED more than what happened to me. -DevinMarie
With love, forward-thinking, and healing,
Moving forward from trauma;
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.